BEIJING - China's military should take solid steps toward a strong army as socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, said Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Xi made the remarks when meeting senior military officers in Beijing Thursday.
Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), urged the army to remain true to its original aspiration and keep its mission firmly in mind.
He asked the army to learn and implement the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress, following the road of building a strong army with Chinese characteristics and promoting the modernization of national defense and the army.
"We should strive to fully transform the people's armed forces into a world-class military by the mid-21st century," Xi said.
Xi said that during the past five years, the CMC has endeavored to build an army that follows the command of the CPC, is capable of winning battles and has a fine style of work.
It has been upholding the Party's absolute leadership over the armed forces, innovating military strategy, governing the army by law and promoting civil-military integration.
Xi praised the 19th CPC National Congress a success, saying that by the year 2020, mechanization will be basically achieved, and the modernization of the national defense and armed forces should be basically completed by 2035.
To study and implement the spirit of the congress is the primary task for the party, the country and the army at present and in the years to come, said Xi.
He urged military officers and soldiers to learn from the report of the congress as well as the Party's Constitution so as to better guide their work.
The President asked the members of the CMC, newly chosen at the first plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, to be keenly aware of the trust bestowed by the Party and people and the expectations of all servicemen and women and spare no effort in their work.
Senior officers, as the backbone of the campaign to build a strong army, should be loyal and obedient to the Party, be good and smart at combat and endeavor to reform, Xi said.
They should be efficient in commanding their forces, strict in discipline and set an example by performing their duty with spirit and diligence, he said.
The armed forces should improve political education and combat training and push forwards all projects of the 13th five-year plan of military development, he said.
Military reform projects should not be delayed and the armed forces should be placed under strict discipline.
The armed forces are also urged to plan future work according to the guidelines of the 19th CPC National Congress.